A Different Little Doggy
“A Different Little Doggy” is an illustrated children’s book all about a dog who is a little different from the rest. The storybook focuses on Taz, a dog who turns his differences into his strengths. Page by illustrated page, Taz informs the reader about everything that makes him unique, and how they are all positives that he would not change one bit. The story is written by Heather Whittaker and illustrated by Scott Alberts. In addition to the illustrated story, there is a separate classroom curriculum available with 10 activities for further exploration of the topic. The classroom curriculum supports Common Core State Standards for Language Arts.
- Since Taz embraces his differences and finds the advantage in each scenario, children can learn self-esteem and practice being proud of what makes them unique.
- The lessons of acceptance—both of oneself and others—can help bullying. Accepting everyone creates inclusion, and if children are bullied they will be able to have the self-confidence to process what to do.
- The way Taz interacts with the other dogs regardless of their differences can teach children the important life skill of acceptance and respect.
- Do not show the illustrated photos to the children, and let them illustrate their own evolving image of Taz. As more details are revealed page by page, their drawing on the page will grow and change.
- The book can be used to discuss feelings and emotions children might have trouble comprehending.
- Look through the book and discuss what the typical demeanor, mood or feeling each character has. With plenty of dogs to choose from, there will be many moods to discuss.
- As caregiver and child read the book, literacy skills like letter, word and spelling recognition and identification can be practiced when reading, “A Different Little Doggy.”
- With 20+ pages of the story having text plus illustrations, vocabulary can be expanded with the comprehension of the words that make up the story.
- With every repetition of the story, there is an opportunity to develop memory and recall. Kids will remember what is going to happen before the page is turned every time the story is read.
- According to various studies, reading books like “A Different Little Doggy” to children every day can lead to improved participation and performance in school.
- Research the different types of dog breeds within the book to learn more about them.
- Write a list or draw a picture of what makes you unique!
- Frequently reading to kids can increase lines of communication between caregiver and child, allowing there to be a more open conversation about all topics.
- Being read to on a regular basis using books like “A Different Little Doggy” is important in the development of receptive language skills.
- Kids can follow along as caregivers or siblings read to them, allowing them to develop word recognition—the ability for readers to identify a word written correctly.
- Let children practice their reading with a plush dog or other stuffed animal. These stuffed companions provide children with a nonjudgmental partner to sit and listen to them practicing literacy.
- Use the ideas of different breeds of dogs to talk about acceptance of others.